Friday, March 28, 2014

Jacob's birth

Jacob's due date was last Friday, March 21st. The day before, I had an appointment with my midwives. After being dilated 1 cm for the previous month, I was dilated 2 cm (hooray for some progress!) and my midwife stripped my membranes. That was not a pleasant experience and it doesn't work for everyone, but it did seem to get the ball rolling for me. The next morning, on my due date, I woke up with bloody show, a sign that labor could be starting soon. I had some cramps throughout the day, but they were few and far between and I went to bed a little disappointed that I was once again going to have to play the waiting game past my due date.
last belly picture, on my due date
As it turned out, I didn't have to wait long. At 3:15 Saturday morning, I was woken up by painful contractions coming 10 minutes apart. I tried (mostly unsuccessfully) to get some more rest before everyone else got up.
my last day as a mother of one
Throughout that day, I kept waiting for the contractions to get closer together, but they just wouldn't, staying 5-10 minutes apart hour after hour. Thomas and I went on a 2 hour walk and they got slightly closer together while we were walking, but slowed back to the same rate as soon as we stopped. It was pretty frustrating, especially because they became more intense and painful as the day went on, just not closer together. The same thing happened when I took a hot shower in the afternoon. The contractions also got closer together while I was in the shower (about 4 minutes apart), but when I got out they went back to every 10 minutes. We went on another walk and the same thing happened again. By about 9:00 that night I was super worn out. I had already been awake and in labor for about 18 hours but with no end in sight. All I wanted to do was press pause on the whole thing and go to sleep. Since that wasn't an option, I took another shower, and miraculously while I was in the shower my contractions sped up to 2-3 minutes apart and stayed at 4-5 minutes apart when I got out. We called the midwife and finally got the green light to head to the hospital.

It was nearly midnight by the time we got settled into our room at the hospital. I was dilated 5 cm and 100% effaced, which on the one hand was encouraging--yay! progress! early labor is over!--but on the other hand was pretty discouraging too--really? over 20 hours of labor for 3 measly centimeters? The contractions continued to get more painful and lasted seemingly forever (really about 3 minutes). I was planning on a natural birth and the best pain management techniques for me were back rubs from Thomas as I leaned over the bed, the birthing ball, hot showers, and the labor tub, all of which I used extensively. Progress was still slow though. At 4:30, after being at the hospital for nearly 5 hours and in labor for over 25, I was dilated 7 cm. Only 2 more centimeters in all that time. At that point my midwife and I decided it was time to break my water. She did so at 4:40 and I got back in the tub. Now, I stopped paying much attention to the clock at this point, but it couldn't have been more than 15 or 20 minutes before I started feeling a lot of pressure and was fully dilated and ready to push. So it took 20 hours to go from 2 cm to 5 cm but only 20 minutes to go from 7 to 10. Ridiculous.

So then it was time to push, which was far and away the worst part of the entire experience. I was just crazy with exhaustion and in addition to the contractions I was also now experiencing super intense pressure on my lower back. It was driving me absolutely insane no matter what position I got into. It was so hard for me stay on top of the pain that I was seriously losing it for a while. There was talk of having the doctor come and do a forceps delivery because I was having such a hard time, but happily I pulled myself together before that became necessary. I worked through all that pain, pressure, and exhaustion, and after 27 1/2 hours of labor I finally pushed my baby out into the world at 6:40 a.m. on March 23, 2014.

While there were definitely things I wish had gone differently, he was only 2 days late and I had no induction, no drugs, no tearing, and a perfectly healthy wonderful baby boy! So overall I am really happy with how the experience turned out.

Our experience after his birth was so different than with Jamie. Without us even having to request it, they left Jacob with me for over an hour before doing anything with him--weighing, measuring, eye drops, bath, anything. It was so wonderful. And when they did get around to those things, they did ALL of them right in our room. I even got to hold him during his hearing screening. Jacob never left our room at all until he was 28 hours old. We also didn't have to change rooms, there was a pull-out couch bed for Thomas, and if we were asleep when the nurses came, they just left us there and came back later. In all of these ways it was the complete opposite of our hospital stay with Jamie.  Jacob's first day of life was so peaceful and special.

The best part of the day was when Jamie came with his aunt Emily to meet his baby brother. He was so excited and took to Jacob right away. He gave him about a million kisses, held him and rocked him, sang to him, and was very interested in everything we did for Jacob, like diaper changes and feeding. It was so, so wonderful to have all of us together and to see my two boys with each other.
Jamie loved helping me eat my lunch.
We got Jamie a big brother gift. It was a Ninja Turtle. You can see how excited he was!
Jacob with Aunt Emily
We got to have a special Mommy/Daddy dinner: steak, baked potatoes, broccoli, cheesecake...It was pretty great for hospital food!

The next morning Jacob had to have a couple newborn screenings, and after that it wasn't too long before we were able to head home. 
sleepy boys :)
all ready to go!
...and home!
Big brother welcoming Jacob with a kiss. :) I love these two boys!!


  1. I hated being away from my kids. I cried off and on all day missing them. We left as soon as we could to get home.

    I can't believe they saw you were sleeping and just LEFT YOU ALONE! So jealous, and so happy for you at the same time!

  2. AWWWW! I love the story! You did AMAZING! Congratulations, I can't wait to meet him!